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Home > Media Reiews > News Review Last Updated: 14:53 03/09/2007
News Review #119: April 8, 2003

Could war and SARS actually help Hawaii visitor business?

Reviewed By Hitoshi URABE

"Could war and SARS actually help Hawaii visitor business?"
(by Howard Dicus) Pacific Business News


This is a very short article to the extent that it would be difficult to make this comment briefer than the original writing. Obviously, the article is not a sort of any grand plan to revive the world economy or such, but it is still interesting in the sense that it carves out an aspect of the people's behaviors in times like these.

Since the war in Iraq erupted, or since sometime before the incident actually began, Japanese people were restraining themselves from unsolicited travels to the Middle East, and to a certain extent, to some areas in the US deemed to be susceptible to terrorist attacks. Those living in, and have visited large US cities recently tell stories about empty theaters and almost deserted shopping malls as indications of people's anxieties toward the consequences of the war and its repercussions. Whatever the cause, the atmosphere would not compose a pleasant place to visit as a tourist.

SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is the major factor now for people to avoid trips to a large part of Asia. Even the government has issued a warning just short of evacuation order, not only discouraging visiting the area but strongly recommending for Japanese citizens residing there to leave. Families of expatriates have rushed home, and quite a few of the business people stationed there have virtually shut down their offices and have come back to Japan, hoping that it would be temporary. There are also sad stories about businessmen who happened to be in the area at the time and were instructed by their headquarters in Japan not to return home until the situation calms down.

Many, including acquaintances of the commenter, who were planning holiday trips to mainland US, or Hong Kong, Taiwan and other Asian countries, have changed their plans to visit Australia, New Zealand, and also to Hawaii, even though concern looms as Hawaii is, after all, a part of the US.

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